Ohio: Leading the Way

From logistics to plastics to electrical equipment, Ohio is surging into the front ranks. Here are the locations that will help your corporation become a leader as well.

Last year, 431 corporations based in the U.S. and around the world chose to invest more than $4.2 billion in Ohio for their business expansions, making Ohio the top U.S. market for new and expanded business facilities, according to the Ohio Business Development Coalition.

“Ohio’s commitment through its Strategic Plan to be the best in the nation for economic development support is the latest step in a series of sweeping changes that continue to build on an already business-friendly climate,” says Ed Burghard, executive director of the OBDC.

Ohio is a U.S. logistics leader offering among the most efficient business access to customers and suppliers in North America, located within 1,000 kilometers of 62% of all U.S. and Canadian manufacturing locations. Ohio is served by a world-class transportation system that includes eight interstate highways, five international airports and three major domestic airports. The state has the fourth-highest rail freight traffic in the U.S. and 700 miles of navigable waterways leading to the Gulf of Mexico and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The national sort facility for DHL is located in Wilmington, OH, and all U.S. cargo operations including UPS and Federal Express have a significant presence in the state.

According to the Ohio Department of Development (ODD), the state’s manufacturing facilities lead the nation in the production of plastics and rubber, fabricated metals, and electrical equipment and appliances. The polymer industry in Ohio ships $14.3 billion annually in products and is the leading state in the production and sale of machinery for the plastics and rubber industry. Companies such as BASF, Bayer, Saint-Gobain, and Demag Plastics have operations in Ohio.

Ohio also is a leading producer of steel, automobiles and trucks. Ohio produces $4.6 billion of steel and steel products a year. AK Steel, Timken and Worthington Industries all have their world headquarters in Ohio. In Ohio, you also will find many of the world’s leading automation companies, including ABB’s U.S. Corporate Research Center and Motoman, Fanuc, Hobart and Lincoln Electric robotics operations.

In Ohio, you’ll have access to a plentiful, highly skilled workforce no matter where you locate in the state. Ohio’s labor pool of 5.6 million workers is among the largest in the U.S., with 800,000 manufacturing workers supporting its $80 billion state sector of the economy. Ohio ranks third in the U.S. in manufacturing production output. Ohio is home to world-class public and private research institutions, ranking second in the U.S. in total research funding for materials engineering and fifth in specialty chemicals research. Ohio ranks fourth in integrating technology, especially IT, into its education system, according to the State New Economy Index, providing for a competitive, technology-based workforce.

Here are a few locations that are ready to show you why Ohio is perfect place for your next relocation or expansion project.

Buckeye Power: All the Best Advantages

Starting, expanding or relocating a business requires extensive planning and strong financial support. Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives and Buckeye Power know this, which is why they employ a staff of dedicated economic development specialists whose primary goal is to provide you the assistance you need to make your business a success.

Escalating operating costs. Congested roadways. Expensive land. Limited office and industrial space. Factors such as these are forcing businesses to more closely examine the benefits of locating near the small towns and communities outside the metro limits and beyond the suburbs.

Companies are drawn to these less-populated areas by their competitive business and living costs, trainable workers, easy access to major markets and overall quality of life.

So if you plan to start or expand your business any time soon, you owe it to yourself – and your bottom line—to look into the companies that can give you the best advantages of both the city and the country—Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives.

You’ll like the quality of life you’ll find in the Ohio countryside. A relaxed pace, high-quality public schools, recreational areas and friendly neighbors—all the benefits of good, clean country living, within virtual shouting distance of Ohio’s major metro areas. And there’s one more great advantage of the Ohio countryside—land is priced by the acre, not by the square foot.

“Location, location, location” are the three most important words in real estate, whether you’re looking for a new home site or a business site. If you’re thinking of opening, expanding or relocating your business, you really need to look into both types of sites.

Consider this: 65% of the entire U.S. and 74% of Canada’s population is within overnight trucking distance of Ohio. Ohio also has one of the country’s best highway systems, an outstanding rail system and more than 100 commercial airports. Combined, they give you easy access to every major national and international market.

Ohio’s exurban areas have the geographic location tools and expertise to give companies a competitive advantage gaining access to the marketplace. Ohio is within a one-day drive of a majority of the U.S population. This allows companies many cost savings in the processing and distribution of merchandise and materials.

Our service territory is home to a variety of international cargo airports, intermodal facilities and rail served industrial parks geared toward meeting the distribution and logistics needs of today’s companies.

Our team’s first task is to help you select a site conducive to the growth and success of your business. We begin by evaluating an array of location and service factors that are most important to your business. By working in concert with the State of Ohio, the individual cooperatives and the local community, our team will help your business maximize its return from a wide range of financial incentives.

For more than 50 years, Buckeye Power and the Ohio Electric Cooperatives have met the energy needs of new and existing businesses across Ohio. Our service areas touch 77 of Ohio’s 88 counties. We serve more than 350,000 member-owners throughout Ohio’s 25 electric cooperatives—from individual, family-owned businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Findlay-Hancock: Dynamic Micropolis

More than 17 high-profile Fortune 500 companies have chosen Findlay/Hancock County for the many benefits of this dynamic micropolitan city. Fortune 500 companies headquartered there include Marathon Petroleum Company LLC and Cooper Tire and Rubber Company.

The corporate headquarters for Marathon Petroleum Company LCC, the eighth largest oil refiner in the U.S., grace the historic Main Street of Findlay and keep the downtown bustling. Cooper Tire and Rubber Co., a tire manufacturer, is also headquartered in this vibrant community—and has been for nearly 100 years. Other automotive-related manufacturers include: Findlay Industries, which specializes in interior trim; G.S.W. Manufacturing, a Japanese company that makes wiring harnesses and lead wires; Molten Corp., a painted plastics manufacturer; and P&A Industries, Inc., a metal stamping and assembly company.

Other manufacturers attracted to Findlay include: Whirlpool Corporation, the area’s largest manufacturer, which employs over 2,000; Advanced Drainage Systems, which manufactures corrugated polyethylene pipe, and Ball Corp. Metal Beverage Container Group. Distribution centers for Lowe’s (1,200,000 square feet), Kohl’s (1,000,000 square feet), Best Buy (1,000,000 square feet) and the headquarters of Hercules Tire & Rubber (300,000 square feet) are located here because of the excellent transportation access and the benefits of the Foreign Trade Zone. Foreign Trade Zone 151 offers advantages to companies operating throughout the world and creates a diverse business culture that enhances this historic community.

Findlay has attracted a diverse blend of offices, manufacturing plants and distribution centers. Tall Timbers International Business Community houses 13 manufacturing plants and four distribution centers for companies such as Cascade Kenhar, Nissin Brake Ohio and Bridgestone APM. Developed around a stone quarry, Lake Cascades Corporate Center, on the southwest side of Findlay, offers spectacular views of a fully stocked lake. Office condominiums including Riverside Suites and the Corporate Center, provide space for small and medium companies that are medical services related. Residential housing completes the neighborhood.

Findlay is truly an international business center. In addition to the many U.S. based companies, seven Japanese companies, two Canadian firms, and three German enterprises are located in our world-class business and industrial parks.

These companies take advantage of the excellent skilled workforce and reap the benefits of the Findlay and Hancock County school systems and institutions of higher education. The University of Findlay, a private four-year school of 4,000 students, offers an MBA program in addition to a nationally recognized environmental studies program. Owens Community College, Ohio’s fastest growing community college, has a newly completed $18 million campus and education center, with nearly 4,000 students enrolled. Courses are designed to meet the specific needs of local companies, many of which are located in the adjacent industrial parks. Brown Mackie College in Findlay offers career skills and training for technical proficiency to students of all ages.

Within a 30-mile radius, there are 300,000 people who are potential employees and shoppers. More people commute into Findlay and Hancock County to work than leave for employment. In fact, 40% of the workforce comes from the surrounding rural counties, bringing a strong work ethic and homegrown values to the office, manufacturing facility or distribution center.

With a population of nearly 40,000, Findlay is ranked highly against cities that are much larger (100,000 and under category). It is the fastest growing community of this size in Ohio.

Greater Akron: Moving Forward

The Greater Akron Region—comprised of Summit, Portage and Medina Counties in the heart of Northeastern Ohio, is rich in history, commerce, industry and culture.

Greater Akron’s economic and business climate is ideal for growing businesses. This is the home of more than 21,000 businesses, including more than 150 Fortune 500 companies.

Greater Akron is known for a high-end polymer industry equipped with a sophisticated polymer research infrastructure. This has created a new image for Akron, which is now referred to as the “Polymer Center of the Americas.” The region boasts some of the world’s leading liquid crystal and polymer research. Northeast Ohio has the highest concentration of plastics processors in the country and is the nation’s leading manufacturer of plastic processing equipment. Home to the largest number of polymer companies in Ohio, Greater Akron has about 16,000 polymer-industry employees. Second only to California, Ohio employs 95,885 in fabricated-polymer products, with 11,694 in Greater Akron (Society of the Plastics Industry 2000 Economic Study). Ohio’s $13 billion in polymer-product shipments also ranks second in the country.

Twenty-four percent of Greater Akron’s workforce is employed in manufacturing. In recent years, more than $2.5 billion in private capital has been invested in new plants and plant expansions in Greater Akron. Since 2004, the Greater Akron Chamber has assisted 65 companies with their investments in the Greater Akron Region.